Friday Leftovers - A Little Bit Of This &Amp;Amp; A Little Bit Of That - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at - 224617

Swampy's Kitchen

Friday Leftovers - a little bit of this & a little bit of that 
Feb. 25, 2011 1:14 pm 
Updated: Mar. 7, 2011 7:35 am
(It's Friday again and this blog may start to be getting a little green & furry on the edges from sitting on the backshelf for so long. I do want you to know that I really do appreciate your clicking on my random ramblings. Thank you. Now go read & comment on a fresher blog than mine.)
It’s a rainy afternoon here in the Big Apple and the hands on the clock couldn’t move any slower if they worked at the DMV. I just grabbed a cup of really bad free coffee (too lazy to go downstairs to Starbucks) from the office swill machine so I thought I would toss a few things up at the wall and see what stuck.

I travel WAY TOO MUCH for work. This week I did a quick overnight trip down to Hotlanta & back. One of the side benefits (or detractions as the case may be) of all this travel is that it gives me a lot of time to think. Probably too much time to think. I start thinking about what might have been, what should have been, what I should have said, what I should have done and things like that but that is neither here nor there and really should be kept for another blog on another day. But I digress….

As I was driving through the various Atlanta traffic jams (which are nowhere near as bad as the traffic jams in NYC so quit complaining ) I was thinking about what I could write about. I had a lot of great ideas too. Alas, I didn’t take any notes (because driving & texting isn’t safe) and since I have a Memento like short term memory, I can’t remember any of them now but I do know they were insightful & funny. (you can stop reading here – I am sure that this blog will only get worse)

Now I may have been born a yankee but I do have some southern roots. Southerners don’t try to hide their crazy relatives in the attic, they proudly display them for all to see and I have more than few that could easily be put upon that pedestal. That being said, it was still a surprise to my client when I ordered pulled pork sliders, sweet potato fries & sweet tea for lunch the other day. I told them that all that was missing from this being a complete meal was some cornbread. I also made sure to slip in a few “Y’all’s” during the rest of the meal just to drive my point home.

I do have to admit, I have made a point of never trying to be too “New York” when I travel from city to city looking for business. The only time I even played up my “New York Connection” in the past was at a panel discussion in . When I was introduced as coming from , the entire front table turned in unison and said “ New York City ?!?!?” like I was some kind of Pace Picante Sauce ad. It got laughs and it gave me a few extra seconds of credibility. (I hate that whenever I cut & paste a blog with city names in it, they all get blanked out when they first get posted !)

Speaking of credibility, my Oscar picks for this weekend have none. I have not seen a single one of the movies nominated this year. In fact, I think the last “adult’ movie (and get your minds out of the gutter) I saw in a theater was “The Hangover”. (see, you didn’t have to get that far out of the gutter, did you ?) Movies that aren’t for kids generally run me about $150 when you count in tickets, popcorn, dinner & a babysitter and no movie coming out of Hollywood these days is worth that much. I can wait for the netflix envelope to show up instead. So without seeing the movies, I am not even going to begin to try and contemplate a menu that plays off of the favorite in each category. I’ll stick to eating ice cream, commenting on how bad everyone looks and watching the commercials.

I currently have 2,030 unopened emails according to Outlook Inbox. There is no way that is right. I have ignored a lot more people than that.

I stayed in an Embassy Suites hotel this trip because you get two rooms for the price of one and a free breakfast. A picture of said breakfast is down below. At least I got the second room.

It wasn’t this trip but on another trip last year, my Embassy Suites Breakfast “Chef” proudly told me that he had come in 6th in the 3rd season of Hell’s Kitchen. I congratulated him and then went to Cracker Barrel instead.

I just found out that there is a Cracker Barrel not too far from my house and that it has been there for years. Hello Uncle Herschel. Why have you been hiding from me all these years ?

After I saw what I looked like this morning in the mirror, I really wished I was a vampire.

Of course Edward Cullen obviously could see himself in a mirror. Hair doesn’t get that fabulous all by itself.

Speaking of hair, JUSTIN BIEBER GOT A HAIRCUT. You may now resume your normal activities.

It was my daughter’s birthday this past Monday. She wore her tiara from the time she woke up until the time she went to bed. (She’s 11) She requested we make her my famous (at least to me) Stoneridge Stir Fry, a yellow cake with pink icing and a “mocktail”. Her name is Amity so we named her drink “The Amit-ini”. Daddy scored big points – see photos below.

Not to pat myself on the back too much because I usually throw out my shoulder when I do but I when I went to a restaurant this past weekend in Ketchum, Idaho, the first thing I noticed on the menu was a Cherry Balsamic Duck (see previous blog). I also heard the waitress tell the next table that it was the chef’s favorite dish to cook which means they ordered way too much of it or they weren’t selling enough of it. Either way, no one at our table ordered it since we were all still basking in the memory of my most excellent rendition of this dish. (well, maybe just I was but let me live out this fantasy)

I need to buy a new car this weekend. My electric blue 5 speed rocket sled is slowly giving up the ghost and it’s only a matter of time before she says Boo. I normally rent Dodge Chargers when I travel but recently I have started renting SUV’s and Crossovers to see what I might want to buy. I got a Dodge Journey this last trip. When I had the 3rd row of seats up I almost felt like I should be in carline at school but it has satellite radio and I was cranking Radio Margaritaville so all was okay.

Now just because I talked about this & that doesn’t mean that you have to talk about this & that. We can talk about whatever you want to talk about. I’ll try to answer from the train on my 2 hour commute home but odds are I will fall asleep and wake up just as we get to my stop and I won’t have any idea where I am.

And make sure that you stop by next time when we talk about my upcoming vacation and all the fabulous food I am going to eat.

Or not.
Free Breakfast
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Stoneridge Stir Fry
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Stoneridge Stir Fry - the close-up
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The Birthday Girl
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The Amit-ini
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The Birthday Cake
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Feb. 25, 2011 1:32 pm
DM: You are funny! You really need to consider a career in stand-up comedy! Nice job with your daughter's birthday. Looks like she's lovin' it.
Feb. 25, 2011 1:43 pm
Doug, you crack me up! And apparently your mind runs like mine - like a computer that needs defragmenting. As always, thanks for sharing!
Feb. 25, 2011 2:35 pm
Thanks bikerfamily - at times I think my life script was written by a stand up comedian and I wish you all could have seen the birthday girl go thru airport security with her tiara on
Feb. 25, 2011 2:37 pm
I love the stream of consciousness style of blog! Your daughter is adorable, enjoy her now, she is about to turn into a huge mystery for the next 8 or so years. I had to laugh about falling asleep on the train. My DH used to do that everytime he worked late. He would end up at the end of the line and have to call home for a ride. Good thing I loved him. Have a great weekend.
Feb. 25, 2011 2:37 pm
Hi Staci - defragging is the least of my worries - thanks for checking in
Feb. 25, 2011 2:44 pm
Hi BigShotsMom - sometimes I need more thaan 140 characters to express myself. I also have another daughter who is about to turn 13. Thank God for my 5 1/2 year old son. And knock on wood, I haven't missed my stop yet in 20 years of commuting (knock on wood)
Feb. 25, 2011 3:44 pm
You really do crack me up! I was in tears by the time I got to "JUSTIN BIEBER". What great talent you possess in writing and keeping people entertained. Happy belated birthday to Amity! Great blog Doug. Thanks for sharing. I hope you and your family have a great weekend.
Feb. 25, 2011 4:03 pm
Okay, DH makes fun of me and calls me "Monk-ish" because I am a counter, odd #'s verses even #'s stand out to me, and way too many other things to mention but I am curious why the 12 candles? BTW, I like to think of me as just being observant and nothing like the dude on
Feb. 25, 2011 4:08 pm
Good Evening Nicole - thanks - I think a roomful of drunken monkeys with laptops could do what I do. The 12th candle was for luck - a tradition on my wife's side of the family. Of course it doesn't apply to her cake where the # of candles is irrelevant. Have a great weekend.
Feb. 26, 2011 7:46 am
My husband travels a lot for business too. He's super-duper platinum or somesuch at the Hilton. The check in screen actually started flashing the last few times he's checked in. This is the queue for the receptio staff to fall all over themselves trying to be 'helpful'. Really, my husband just wants checked in cause he is tired. According to DH, the Hilton chain is the best for the rewards program. DH has been home the last 30 days on a special project and it's weird. Are you still here? Anyway, Winter's Bone is well worth seeing. I think this may be the only Oscar nominee for best picture I've seen. Best of all Doug it's on Netflix.
Feb. 26, 2011 10:08 am
Doug, I always love reading your blog but don't often comment. You always make me laugh. You pictures are great and your birthday girl is precious in her tiara. Looks like she enjoyed her birthday dinner very much.
Feb. 26, 2011 12:19 pm
Hi Sharon@MLT - I am one of those super diamond platinum executive elite guys at Hilton too. They just keep handing me stuff when I check in. Just give me a room on a high floor away from the elevator please. Thanks for stopping in. Tell DH I will see him on the road.
Feb. 26, 2011 12:20 pm
Thanks grannygigi - I am glad you stopped by and it makes me smile to know I brought a smile to your day. Have a great weekend.
Feb. 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Love the tiara on the pink cake and your daughter is adorable with her tiara on too! Hope she has a great birthday!
Feb. 26, 2011 1:17 pm
Oh no - you've opened up the "sweet potato fries" monster again Doug! And your blog also always makes me laugh - and I can see your Southern roots hangin out like the 8th week on a 6 week Miss Clairol color job! You're just a transplanted Southerner living up there with them Yankees - and when you get some sense slapped into ya, you'll come home where you belong with all the rest of us "normal" people. We Southerners talk loud because we're raised around Uncle Wilber and Aunt Uella who were evidently born without ears so they "hear" by listening with their mouth hanging open - we talk with a melodious whine because the only way you can tell the difference between grandma calling you to dinner and the coon dogs treeing a cat is the high pitch of the howling - we talk making single words into multi-syllabled, unintelligible jargon for the same reason as the coon dog dilemma - we say "bless your heart" after completely annihilating someone's character so that after totally annihilating someone's character, they don't think we've just totally annihilated their character - we don't gossip, we INFORM the current wife that the current husband is having an affair with the previous ex-wife of the previous ex-brother-in-law (third cousin removed)because...(put in whatever reason suits you) - we also take pictures of everything- birthdays (again, Uncle Wilber with a lit birthday cake sitting in his lap while he sleeps, with his mouth hanging open, in the rocking chair on the front porch- at least we think he's just asleep)- Aunt Uella and Uncle Wilber's 50th weeding anniversary - that's right "weeding" not wedding - as this was their 50th year plowing the north forty for the upcoming planting season - and then the baby pictures - oh my, we Southerners are quite famous for our baby pictures, and when we had Grandpa's 100th birthday celebration, we held his baby picture right up next to him - they looked just the same - asleep and drooling - he's so cute, bless his heart! Now Doug - you said what you start up top, can get changed down bottom. But I do have a couple questions - that "free" breakfast photo - what's on those eggs? - hot sauce? ketchup? (fess up southern boy) - or did you cut yourself shaving? And what are those brown hockey pucks? Well - it's time for this Southerner to sit-a-spell on the back porch - it's a sunny 75 outside today in the good ole south - rock in my bentwood rocker, sleep (er, I mean read) a little and sip on some cool sweet tea - ya'll come back now, ya hear.
Feb. 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Although you don't know me, and I hate to start off by being picky, I simply MUST stand up for Embassy Suites which has been our hotel of choice for years. With the exception of a couple (at all costs, avoid the one in Brunswick, GA), most from NH to FL are great. There are several in CA which are also fabulous. The extra room is always welcome, the free drinks at night are a treat, and breakfast depends on the management but in general is better than Cracker Barrel's efforts (unless you're particularly fond of butter and carbs). Other than defending my beloved Embassy Suites, I enjoy your blog quite a bit. It's a treat to find a guy who's as addicted to food and cooking as I am!
Feb. 26, 2011 1:49 pm
Thank you MySweetCreations - one year we made a quintuple layer cake for my daughter - next year she wants a key lime pie cake - thanks for stopping by
Feb. 26, 2011 6:00 pm
I bow down in your general direction luv2cook - I am not worthy. That was stand up routine in and of itself. I am still wiping tears from my for the breakfast - that was tabasco on the eggs & a couple of upside down blueberry muffins - what you didn't see what the peach yogurt - in Georgia no less. Thanks for the comment - it made my night
Feb. 26, 2011 6:04 pm
You got me ellenmoriah - I took some cheap & easy shots and made some unfair generalizations. In full disclosure, I am a Hilton Diamond Member who always stays at Embassy Suites (love the new one in Ridgeland, MS) whenever I don't have a breakfast meeting and Hilton Garden Inn when I do. My one beef with the Hilton Hotel Chain is that if they are going to be a name sponsor of Top Chef on Bravo, shouldn't they carry Bravo on the corporate satellite TV ? It drives me nuts not being able to watch Top Chef when I am on the road. Thanks for stopping by and for setting me straight.
Feb. 26, 2011 8:18 pm
Awesome ramblings Doug! It reminded me of, well, me and what's going on in my mind, like all the time. I think like that, I talk like that too.... just one topic to the next with no coma, periods or even taking a breathe. But, hey; the good news for me.... I understood your every word and concept. BTW, darling little girl. Our oldest daughter when she was about 6 years old really, really, really wanted a CROWN. Well, heck, back then, tiaras and crowns were no where to found. So, she didn't get one. Sometime later, my husband found her in her room crying. He sat down on the floor with her and very fatherly like, put his hand on her shoulder and asked, "What's wrong honey?" She replied that she was very sad because she didn't have a CROWN. He said "Well, honey, we just haven't been able to find one." Her very grown up question to him was.... "Well, Daddy, What's a girl without a Crown?" To this very day, all us women in this family use this phrase for everything that requires a royal comment. So, really "What IS a girl without a crown?" So glad your gal got a crown, I mean tiara to wear for her birthday. Oh mercy, have I been rambling?
Feb. 27, 2011 7:04 am
Hi Candice - I cook like I write - a little of this over there and a little of that over there and didn't I hear about someone doing this to that and I saw someone else do that to this...and great story about the crown - thanks for sharing & thanks for stopping by
Feb. 27, 2011 11:59 am
Thanks for making me laugh today Doug:) Very, very funny blog!
Feb. 27, 2011 1:10 pm
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment Eileen.
Feb. 27, 2011 3:34 pm
I kept reading your blog out loud to my husband as he came in and out of the room. Methinks he wasn't going too far out of earshot because he wants to hear more. Love the blog!
Feb. 27, 2011 4:43 pm
Thank you Jewelsmom - glad to know that you both enjoyed it.
Feb. 28, 2011 8:13 am
loved the blog, Doug-bless your heart:) Thanks for the lesson on southern living. I could follow along with your thoughts quite well, must have somthing to do with my Attention deficit oohh shiny thing disorder. Your daughter looks like a princess, that is the age for princesses, once they get older and turn into queens, it's not as cute:)
Feb. 28, 2011 8:45 am
Good morning redneck gramma - i am glad i had a reader or two set me even a little straighter on my "southerness" - I like shiny things and use them to my advantage - when i got done writing this one, I had already thought of 5 different thinhs I left out and meant to put in - maybe next time....and my daughter thanks you too - i hope that she & her older sister don't kill me too much in the coming years
Mar. 1, 2011 10:02 am
We always called our little girl a princess, also. She is now 37 and the principal of a K-5 school in Va. About 2 years ago, she gave me a Mary Engelbreit (sp?)mug with "The Queen Mother" on it. She told me if she was the princess, it was because I was the Queen. So, remind your wife of that fact, and enjoy those years. They go by so quickly!!!!
Mar. 1, 2011 10:27 am
good afternoon chris - thanks for stopping in - my daughter can be any royalty she wants to be as long as no one starts calling me Prince Charles....and it does seem like she was just a little one in my arms
Mar. 1, 2011 11:19 am
Can we talk about Charlie Sheen? :)
Mar. 1, 2011 11:37 am
Hey Phat Back - what more can we say about him that he hasn't said already ? Adonis DNA ? Tiger Blood ? Warlock ? The man makes Lilo look like a Disney kid...oh wait a minute. Thank for stopping in - it has been a long long long long long time
Mar. 1, 2011 11:46 am
Been WAY too long! My favorite recent quote from him is "We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary." Sheer brilliance, really.
Mar. 1, 2011 11:52 am
I can't wait to see what he does next - Someone should just get a camera crew and follow him around - people would even watch the blurry parts
Mar. 1, 2011 5:33 pm
You are really hysterical , liked reading what u wrote!!! LAURA N.Y.
Mar. 2, 2011 4:32 am
Thanks Laura from NY - my lovely & adoring wife has another word for me but this is a family oriented website so....
Mar. 2, 2011 8:50 am
i enjoy reading this>thanks
Mar. 2, 2011 10:24 am
Thanks fda - I am glad you stopped by
Mar. 2, 2011 1:40 pm
Mar. 2, 2011 4:28 pm
Thank you very much mimi - I appreciate you stopping by. Are you a North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey girl ?
Mar. 2, 2011 5:23 pm
the comments are almost (italics)as fun to read as the blog (almost).... I am on the PA/ central jersey border (or what 'northerners' call Pennysl-tucky. excellent blog today
Mar. 2, 2011 7:15 pm
Love the Amitini! Can you share the recipe? My nieces would love someting like that. Thanks Doug!
Mar. 3, 2011 4:22 am
Hi Doug! Looks like you got ripped off with your "free" breakfast from Embassy Suites! Next time, try the one near the LA airport - pretty fancy digs (well...), but of course, you're up all night from the sounds of the planes taking off to Timbuktu. At any rate, at least the breakfast was pretty good, after I almost had to "get in there" and show the guy how to make an omelet! Hey, think you have problems?! :) All of my students (remember me? I teach math in Uganda, Africa) were loudly protesting my latest quiz today! ME: "Hey guys, it's called "algebra", and might I remind you of the following: you are in the 10th grade, and this quiz was based on stuff you were taught in the 8th grade!" THEM: "But you give us SO much homework, Teacher Lauren, this is SO unfair!" ME: "Deal with it. You're almost 16 - that means in 2 years you'll be 18, a legal adult. How will you get into university if you do NOT pass my course?" THEM: "We don't understand what we're doing!" ME: "Have you done your homework?" THEM: "We's too hard." This exchange went on for quite some time, to the point of idiocy!! THEY GIVE UP ON THEIR HOMEWORK, BECAUSE - YOU GUESSED IT - THEY HAVE TO ACTUALLY WORK!! My gosh - and to think of all the kids whose parents can't even afford the $20 a term (in the public schools here) to get an education, yet deserve to get an education, and a good one, too. Sorry for the rant.......OK, here's a good twist on tuna salad, for those of you who are undergoing a heat wave, like we are here in Africa!! Open a can of water-packed tuna (185 grams; drained weight, 130 grams), strain the brine, serve to your kitty cats. Flake tuna with a fork. Add chopped fresh mint and parsley, minced green onions, red bell pepper, 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and black pepper. You can add some mayo if you feel like it, along with some diced, hard-boiled egg. Chill in fridge for awhile. After you've graded the quizzes, sit outside on the verandah, watch the sun set over Lake Victoria, and enjoy the view and the tuna salad! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR WONDERFUL DAUGHTER!!! :) ~ Ciao for now, Lauren
Mar. 3, 2011 4:48 am
Good morning & thanks Peytonpiccard - I am certainly very familiar with Pennsyl-tucky - we are almost neighbors - as for the comments, well who says you just have to talk about the blog anyway ?
Mar. 3, 2011 4:52 am
good morning Monica Joy - did you thaw out yet ? I used the following for the Amitini - Half a blender of ice cubes, 12 strawberries, 1 large banana, 1/3 cup pineapple juice and 2/3 cup of heavy cream (I tried to talk her into coconut milk but she said no) - blend & pour into sugar rimmed glasses - top with whipped cream - it made 4 of those skinny beer glasses. Hope they like them
Mar. 3, 2011 4:57 am
Good morning or Good Evening as the case may be Teacher Lauren - your students sound like my birthday girl. I have nothing but a ton of respect for teachers. I serve on the board at my children's school because I will do anything within my power to make sure that they get the best education they can.....the tuna sounds great, I am going to have to try that one out this summer when I sit on the cement porch watching the sunset over my neighbor's pool.....and in all honesty, the breakfast wasn't terrible but it was worth what I paid for it...glad you stopped by
Mar. 3, 2011 7:13 am
Mar. 3, 2011 7:17 am
Dear, dear, Doug, I simply don't know where to start, so: 1) As always, great blog and here in Missouri Cracker Barrel is one step from eating in grandma's kitchen. They are all over the state, and in **years of living, I've NEVER had a bad meal there. 2) After Charlie Sheen dissed John Stamos as a possible replacement for him on the show, Stamos twittered the this, "The rumors of me replacing Sheen on the show are not true; however,Martin Sheen has asked me to be his new son." I thought this was hilarious. 3)Teacher Lauren has my deepest sympathies as I just spent a week explaining the concepts of past tense and present tense verbs to 97 students of which 92 have been speaking and writing American English their entire lives. I'm almost convinced that a hundred years from now, the human race will have reverted to gutteral sounds and incoherent grunts. 4) The trick with sweet potato fries is to cook them twice as long as regular fries to get them nice and crisp on the outside and soft and yummy on the inside.....I think I'm done, and I hope I lived up to the rambling nature of the blog:) Cheers to all and have a great weekend (gonna snow here again next week, or so the satan on our local cbs affiliate says).
Mar. 3, 2011 8:49 am
Hey mimi - I used to play high school hockey against Brick High School back in the late 70's. We are a North Jersey family who does rent a house every now & then in Cape May. Have some business in Greensboro & Charlotte - I need to get over to Raleigh soon too - Have a great one
Mar. 3, 2011 9:58 am
Hey Mangel - Now the question is where do I start ? When I drive from city to city on business in the south I like to count the CB's & Waffle House's to see who has more....good line by Stamos but he is no Warlock with Tigerblood....WINNING !.....I will eventually win the sweet potato fry war but for now, I am an Ore-Ida boy....come back and ramble some more any time.
Mar. 3, 2011 12:54 pm
Hey Doug, I have no idea as to how I ended up at your blog, you are hysterical..Okay, so what's in the Amit-ini? At 4pm in the afternoon writing your food pictures and amit-in look delish...Thanks for the laugh...
Mar. 3, 2011 1:15 pm
Hi blanqui - I am guessing that you must have made a left turn at Albuquerque and that's how you got here. No matter, I am just glad you stopped by. The recipe for the Amit-ini is a couple of comments up but it is basically ice, strawberries, banana, pineapple juice & cream. Rim the glass with Sugar & top with whippd cream. Hope you stop by again some time.
Mar. 4, 2011 5:40 am
LOL! Boy did I ever need that laugh with the morning coffee! The animal that I recently purchased thinking it was a puppy is really a goat. I swear he can eat anything! I've taken up flying, fishing and sailing due to him. Fishing things out of his mouth, flying and sailing over him due to his coloring and abrupt stops. The latter 2 are not so good for mature bones and joints :) I so understand the back burner blogs. Got a couple of those myself. Thanks for another entertaining blog!
Mar. 4, 2011 5:50 am
Good morning Cat Hill - that goat of yours sounds a lot like my 5 year old - bet they are both just as stubborn too - thanks and have a great day
Mar. 4, 2011 6:18 am
Hey there Hi there Ho there, Doug! Awesome ramblings! Wish your Princess a happy birthday from *tink*! I enjoyed the Oscar telecast so much I dvr'd it, and I've watched it three more times. I only saw one movie last year (Alice In Wonderland w/Johnny Depp) but as a former high school drama geek I've always loved the Oscars, no matter what. Hey....make me an Amitini, too...but add a little bubblegum vodka for me....I'm going to Disneyland in 78 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds....not that I'm counting....have a great weekend!
Mar. 4, 2011 6:33 am
Good morning msntnkrbll - thanks for checking in - my eldest daughter watched & replayed the Oscars for all the dresses & shoes. Movies ? What movies ? Bubblegum Vodka ? Now I remember why I quit drinking. B-) Have a great time at Disney and great weekend this weekend
Mar. 4, 2011 2:02 pm
LOLOLOL! Yep! I was too bleary minded this morning to mention STUBBORN! LOL Thanks again for the laugh and I've promised myself to get a back burner blog up and running within the next 4 days. Will have a photo on it you might find interesting. And I did forget to say Happy Birthday to the princess & birthday girl! Geez not only am I spraining things, the lack of sleep is draining the memory!
Mar. 4, 2011 6:32 pm
The Princess says thank you Cat Hill - tomorrow is her party with friends and we are making a snowman shaped cake - should be worth a picture or two. Have a great weekend with your kid.
Mar. 4, 2011 8:51 pm
Hi again Doug! In my other rant, I had forgotten to mention that I had to dodge the lakeflies as I enjoyed my tuna salad, but no matter. At least it was neat seeing the dragonflies come out. Those guys mean business, too - extremely beautiful insects. That wasn't a typo either, when I wrote, " the sun set." We're approaching the vernal equinox (first day of spring) here at the equator, and it's something else. The sun seems to hover in the sky for awhile, deciding on whether or not it wants to "set" - hence the term "sun set" instead of "sunset." (I really think the heat is getting to me!) Anyway, that's great that you serve on the board at your daughter's school! I wish more parents were actually involved in their children's education, instead of using the schools as a glorified babysitting service. Saw Mangel's posting too - wow, I thought I had problems! Hope your students realize they can't use "text-speak" in the real world, and I also hope your predictions about the future don't come true. At least here in Africa, we really are addressed with respect, by everyone. We're called "Teacher (fill in your name)" instead of "Hey you!" in not only the classroom, but in public as well. ~ I'm reading everyone's comments about snow, glorious snow! I cannot wait to get back to a temperate climate for my spring break (in 5 weeks!) - I want to walk outside again where the temps are in the 40's or 50's. (Our school year started on February 1, and we have 3 terms here on the Cambridge system, instead of 2 semesters like in America - very intense system. But I'm rambling - again - which is good - I guess!) Alright, here's another recipe, this time not only for the hot weather, but for anytime. It's one of my favorite dips for spring rolls! Whisk together some good soy sauce (I use the Pearl River brand) with a small amount of rice vinegar, some sugar, black pepper. Add pressed garlic, minced green onion, finely-chopped fresh cilantro and mint leaves, minced fresh ginger root. Then add some pure sesame oil. Let sit for awhile on the counter, then stir again before serving. This is a really good dip for pot-stickers, too! I think I'm finished with my morning ramblings (Doug, I'm 8 hours "ahead" of you, in New Jersey - if it's 4pm my time, it's 8am your time on the same day.) OH, and Happy Birthday again to your daughter!! I love birthdays! It's the day a person entered the world, and it should be celebrated!! ~ CU later, alligators! (Oops, sorry Mangel!) ~ Lauren
Mar. 5, 2011 1:50 am
Doug, Nice ramblin', I enjoyed it. I noticed a snowman cake on the agenda for Amity's party and thought I'd share what I did recently with my granddaughter. Make ice cream snowmen. It could be a party event with each friend making their own snowmen. Just have some ice cream, 3 different size scoops, whipped cream, hershey kisses (cut off the tips for eyes), candy corn (orange for the carrrot nose) and other candy condiments ready for the kids to make their own snowman. My PGD made a "Blues Brother" looking snowman which was too cute. Just a thought to culture cooking in the younger generation to enjoy food and have fun with it. ~ Jane Tell her "Happy Birthday Princess" from me!
Mar. 5, 2011 1:53 am
Me again, Here's the link to a photo of what I mean. "Blues Brother Snowman.
Notice she didn't add buttons. (She couldn't wait to dive into it!) Jane
Mar. 7, 2011 7:34 am
Good morning lauren - sorry I missed you a few days back - I love watching the dragonflies at dusk - we get hundreds flying around our yard at times and thank you for the very interesting recipe. As an aside - my daughter had yet another great birthday. Thanks. I think her 2011 birthday celebration is finally over.
Mar. 7, 2011 7:35 am
Hey Jane - sorry I missed you but I loved the picture of your ice cream snowman - how cool is that ? I will definitely be stealing that idea this summer when the kids complain about being hot. Have a great one.
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Doug Matthews

Home Town
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Living In
Mendham, New Jersey, USA

Member Since
Mar. 2000

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Southern, Healthy, Kids, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Reading Books, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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